We have a good relationship with our neighbours and advised them that we were talking to an architect about a potential extension. We explained our ideas and said we would show them plans before submitting them. We've now done this and they aren't happy with our plans as it will be oppressive and block their light into their conservatory. I think there was some misunderstanding when we initially talked to them as they were ok in principle before they saw the plans.
Our architect thinks that any objections they have will be dismissed with insufficient grounds so we are stuck as to what to do... we want to keep a harmonious relationship with them (they really are lovely!) but the plans can't really be altered much if they are still to give us the space we would like. The options are to go ahead despite their concerns (would this also impact on timescales if they object?), modify plans to compromise with them or move house. I don't really want to do any of them!
Any advice, thoughts or shared experience would be much appreciated (lodges self back between rock and hard place)
I was quite surprised that our 'friendly' neighbour chucked in an objection to our plans. It was a perfectly sensible suggestion (about surface water drainage) that if he'd asked me about, I would have passed onto the architect. But it does leave a little bit of a bad taste in the mouth, as did the one who raised questions about the protected trees in our garden. There are no protected trees in our garden, there are a lot of mature trees, but none of them are protected (three ash trees, a weeping willow, a damson tree and a chestnut tree). The problem with these objections is that it delays things and can often lead to extra expense. The planning process has ended up costing quite a bit more than I originally thought (thanks to having to withdraw the original plans, split them into two and then resubmit them both separately, paying AGAIN).
We live in a semi and our neighbours recently built a rear extension that has blocked the light to a third of our garden and to half our living room, and had their house gutted and renovsted at the same time. We objected to planning at the time but it was still passed. Our neighbours never discussed the works with us; moved out while it was going on and haven't even had the courtesy to acknowledge the 5 months noise or disruption we experienced while this massive building works were going on. We always got on reasonably well with them before this works took place but haven't exchanged a word since.
What really worries me is that one of my objectors is an ex Councillor and failed parliamentary candidate, who currently works for a local MP. I don't know much about politics but I feel sure she should have declared that along with her comments as this makes her more than just your average objector. I am also concerned that she will try to use her political connections to get the application stopped.
Just because your neighbours object, it does not mean that you won't get planning permission. Our neighbour objected and claimed all sorts of reasons why it should not be granted including the loss of light (even though he had a similar extension himself) and that the stress of it was causing his hair to fall out! He also signed his letter with fake qualifications to make it look more official- we were still given permission.
Well - we did get planning permission, despite 7 objections. I am just a little disappointed at the unpleasantness shown by some neighbours (who we had hitherto considered friends). I am especially upset by the neighbours who gave us their "full support" only to lodge an objection with 24 hours left to go! Still, that's life I guess, and I suppose we will just have to hope that people see just how small and insignificant (as opposed to earth shattering and huge) it actually is when it is completed. Moral - if you want to find out how people really feel about you - put in a planning application!
Laurensdad - I'm glad you got your permission and it is a shame that you had objections but try not to think that people don't like you, surely they are just being protective about their own home and in the long run hopefully all will be forgotten.
I hope your build goes well -good luck with it all.